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“Very Historic”

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Union Club British Columbia
Ranked #24 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Ellicott City Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Very Historic”
Reviewed October 25, 2006

Thats right we visited this place way back in 2004. However its been just lately that I stumbled upon such good site. Hence writing the review in 2006

A very very unique experience -

We stayed at the club for three evenings with our cousins who are Canadians and stay in Toronto. We were 2 families -
2 things very very important to remember

1) Carry a set of formals appropriate for dress code.. Its an old british club so don't be left out - blend in with the crowd.
2) Carry something warm even on a summer day. Oldbuilding with firm base seems to show how cold she can get inside on the HOT HOT summer day. Excellent architecture.

Furnishings and staff compliment the building. The staff was wonderful and this is one lodging we will return to again and again. Not for everyone, but if you enjoy this atmosphere you will be back.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank gotraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2005

As some of the others have posted, this is not the place to stay if you are a jeans and sneakers group. The Club is adamant about their dress code. My husband was perfectly comfortable in khakis, a golf shirt and loafers (no tennis shows allowed). We are in our 50's and wanted a new experience (as travel should be). One is not allowed entrance to The Union Club unless you are a member of the club OR you are a guest at their hotel.

We arrived at the Inner Harbour via the Clipper and took a cab to the Club. $4.50 CDN from the Clipper terminal. When we were "buzzed in" to the hotel, the desk clerk knew our names (from the reservation - a nice touch) and we were escorted to our room. We had requested a suite overlooking the Inner Harbour - $149 CDN per night. A rather bland continental breakfast is included. This accomodation is right across the street from the Empress Hotel. The room was quite nice - 2 rooms actually - one with a sofa, writing desk, TV and coffee table. The other room was the bedroom. There are no screens on the windows as there are no bugs! Coming from Houston (the bug capital of the south) we were enthralled. The furniture is antique-like and the room quite comfortable. The elevator was quaint with the separate iron mesh door - not many left like it. We opted for dinner at the club. Dinner was exquisitely prepared by the club's own award-winning chef. There were only a few members in the dining room that evening. The food, the service, the ambiance... all was perfect. We did gasp when we checked out and found that dinner was the same price as the room that evening but we knew it was one of the best meals we had ever experienced. The club is situated right at the Inner Harbour where all the action is. After dinner we were given instructions on how to reenter the hotel and we strolled down to the harbour to watch the street performers 1/2 block away from the hotel. We hailed a horse-drawn cab and thoroughly enjoyed the tour with the guide as we bundled up under blankets in the back. $80CDN. There is plenty to see and do in Victoria. Had we had more time, we would have rented a car and explored the island for a few days. This club/hotel is genteel, classy, old and unlike any other place we have stayed, including several trips to Europe. It is a true British Mens' Club with photographs and artwork of fallen WW1 heroes, etc. There was a wedding reception in the ballroom the night we were there so it was fun to see the clothing styles, etc. This place is unique and compared to the Empress at a much higher rate, we are very pleased that we chose the Union Club and would most certainly do it again.

  • Stayed July 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Txrangerterry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington, IN
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2005

First, if you are a blue jeans, sneakers, sweatshirt sort of vacationer, this hotel is not for you. Stay somewhere else. If you're more comfortable in khakis and a nice shirt and enjoy the finer things in life, this is a great place to stay. You'll love it.

The Union Club is a private, members only club. They rent rooms to the general public to stay in, but it's still a private, members only club. Guests can avail themselves of all of the club's facilities, including a fitness room, dining rooms, bar, rooftop lounge, billiard room, etc., but guests must abide by the club's dress code. No jeans. No sweats. No shorts. No sneakers. Basically, you have to dress and act like a civilized human being. The dress code is relaxed for breakfast. I would not recommend the Union Club for people travelling with children.

The facility is beautiful and the staff was outstanding. The breakfast waiter was witty and fun. The front desk staff was helpful and arranged dinner reservations and reserved taxis for us.

Smoking is only allowed on the rooftop patio, where there is complimentary coffee in the morning and cocktail and wine service the rest of the day. Access to the Club is restricted to members and guests. Guests are provided an electronic pass key which unlocks the front door. No tourists wandering around gawking, like at the Empress.

Our rooms, two harbour view suites, were clean and large. We paid $159 Canadian per night, which is a great deal, given the location and amenities.

This is, without question, one of the nicer places I've stayed. It reminds me of those movies from the 1940's where people dressed for dinner and knew how to relax and have a good time in a civilized atmosphere. During our entire stay, we were treated like Club Members. The staff adressed us by name and always asked if everything was OK or if we needed anything. The level of service was superb.

If I ever return to Victoria, I would stay at the Union Club again. It's just across the street from the Empress in central Victoria, but miles ahead of the Empress in style and taste. We went to the Empress to have cocktails in the Bengal Lounge and found it crowded with curious tourists and scads of conventioneers. I even saw people wearing sweats and shorts at high tea in the dining room. You won't see that at the Union Club.

The Union Club has beautiful views of the harbour and is just a few short blocks to the central shopping district and restaurants. Five Stars in my book.

The Union Club is a great value with wonderful amenities and style. The Union Club isn't stuffy, it's civilized and refined. A welcome change from the normal hotel experience these days. If you're a person who enjoys that sort of thing, you'll love the Union Club.

  • Stayed May 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Peabody1117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 14, 2005

We stayed at the club for two evenings and fortunately brought clothing that was approiate for the dress code. The atmosphere is one of an old British club with the furnishings and staff to compliment the building. The staff was wonderful and this is one lodging we will return to again and again. Not for everyone, but if you enjoy this atmosphere you will be back.

Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2004

As we were travelling around Canada and would be staying in 10 different hotels, we were looking for something different, but not too pricey, in Victoria and we were not disappointed. As stated on other reviews the rooms do not have new furniture but our bed and linen were exceptionally comfortable and we had no trouble with housekeeping. We were aware of the dress code but as we didn't spend much time in the public rooms it didn't affect us. What made this hotel so nice was the rooftop garden (on the second floor) which overlooked the harbour. It was open Mon-Sat and had free tea/coffee making facilities from 7.30am. Very reasonably priced lunches were also served there. This is a gentlemans club and it was nice to gain the experience of staying in one as opposed to a chain hotel.

Helpful?
6 Thank Hornchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 9, 2004

I had high hopes for the Union Club based on the description and previous reviews.

I was disappointed with several things. The club setting meant that all the niceties of a hotel were not there including signs where the complementary breakfast was or door signs to let the maid service know that your room was ready for being made up. As a consequence, the maid service only cleaned up my room one of the two mornings. When I checked out I asked about it and they said "Thanks for bringing it to my attention" but didn't offer a discount for the inconvenience of having wet towels to use a second morning.

The maids didn't knock before entering--you'd just hear a key letting themselves in to drop off a phone book or other various item.

Additionally, the bedding was thread-bare and the sheets had several holes.

On the plus side, the location was great and the rates were reasonable compared to the Empress.

Bottom line, if you want the location, go for it, but don't expect to feel like you are taken care of as well as any other 3 star hotel.

Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2004

This place is superbly located in the inner harbor, next to the Empress Hotel. It's a beautiful building, the rooms are well decorated, the beds are comfortable, and breakfast is tasty. From looking at their website, I realised this was a members club, though you don't have to be a member to stay there. There's a library, billiards room, bar, and activities. However, what I didn't know before arriving was that there is a dress code. You could walk through the lobby and up to your room in sneakers and jeans but you couldn't use the other rooms unless you were properly dressed. Perhaps I should have read some more on the website. I might not have stayed there. But given that most of the other hotels in Victoria near the inner harbor are much more expensive, and the more affordable hotels are a little further afield, the Union Club is a sensible choice. Just be aware of the policies.

Helpful?
10 Thank Hdot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Union Club British Columbia

Property: Union Club British Columbia
Address: 805 Gordon St, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1Z6, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#23 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Union Club British Columbia 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Union Club of British Columbia was established in 1879 and is rich in history. The Club features old Victorian decor with rich wood motifs and offers you affordable elegance while visiting Victoria, the City of flowers. Situated across from Victoria Harbor, the Club is in the heart of the tourist, shopping and business districts. As an overnight guest at the Inn at the Union Club, you are welcome to use all of the club’s facilities which include our Business Centre, Billiard Room, Library, Reading Room and during the summer season our Roof Top Garden. For dining purposes you may join us for casual breakfast, lunch or dinner in our McGregor Lounge, or for more formal dining, in our McKenzie Room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Union Club British Columbia Hotel Victoria
Union Hotel Victoria
Union Hotel British Columbia

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